Tapura Senator outrages French Polynesia leadership

6:51 am on 13 May 2020

French Polynesia's ruling Tapura Huiraatira party has responded with anger to a radio interview of one of the party's two members of the French Senate.

Nuihau Laurey, who is a former finance minister, had told Radio1 that the government's measures to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak had not been up to the challenges.

He said the government should not wait for assistance from France but to take out a loan in the order of $US600 million to cope with what he described as a brutal, deep and systemic crisis.

Nuihau Laurey, vice-president of French Polynesia

Nuihau Laurey Photo: AFP

Mr Laurey warned that there was no unemployment assistance as in France and that thousands of people risked losing their jobs in the coming months.

He said it was of the essence to act quickly.

Mr Laurey also said it the party's idea was terrible to propose holding the second round of the municipal elections next month when Covid-19 concerns lingered.

He added that by stating his views he would make more enemies.

In a statement, the Tapura said instead of riding a media wave the government and the social partners were working on minimising the impact of the crisis.

It said confined in his bubble Mr Nuihau had not used his role as parliamentarian to help French Polynesia.

It also questioned why he was still in the party as a public moraliser and why he didn't relinquish his mandates to use his talents in the private sector.